A new white paper published by the Chinese government has put the brakes on any momentum toward increased dialogue with the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan leader had previously expressed optimism about better ties with China.
Renewed talks with the Dalai Lama were "not up for discussion," according to a new white paper released on Wednesday by the Chinese government's Information Office of the State Council. In comments directed at the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, China said he should "put aside his allusions."
The 14th Dalai Lama fled the autonomous Chinese region of Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against China. He has lived in India since, campaigning for more autonomy for Tibet. Upon leaving China in 1959, the Dalai Lama established a Tibetan government-in-exile, which China views as "essentially a separatist group."
Recent months saw the Dalai Lama claim that Chinese President Xi Jinping was a "realist" with regard to Tibet's path to further autonomy.
Wednesday's white paper appeared to put that notion to rest.
The paper calls on the Dalai Lama and his supporters "to accept that Tibet has been part of China since antiquity, to abandon their goals of dividing China and seeking independence for Tibet, and to begin to act in the interests of Tibet and the country at large," according to the English version of China's state news agency, Xinhua.
Furthermore, China has said it believes Tibet's current development path is appropriate, but denounced "middle way" advocated by the Dalai Lama.
The middle way, according to the Dalai Lama, seeks to preserve Tibet's culture, religion and national identity. While it does reject Tibet's current status within China, it does not advocate Tibet's outright independence. On the Dalai Lama's website, the middle way is described as his peaceful way of resolving "the issue of Tibet and to bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples based on equality and mutual co-operation."
China maintains that the Dalai Lama and his supporters are behind a serious of violent events in Tibet since the 1980s.
mz/sms (AFP, Reuters)